What's out: Cable TV. What's in: Internet television.
I'm looking at my expenses for duplication of services. I have a home phone and a cell phone for example. I also have cable television and high-speed Internet. Not duplicate services, you say? Yeah, you're right; cable TV decides for me what I'll watch and when, while TV over the Internet lets me watch what and when I want. For free.
All right, "for free" only pertains when I'm taking advantage of free wireless in public places, but still, the cost of my eight mg. service at home is slight compared to my cable bill. I have around 200 channels of
crap programming on my cable, but only watch half a dozen of them.
Meanwhile, all of the networks and many independents are offering the same shows, plus many, many more, in streaming video format I can watch on my PC. Better yet, most of these come with considerably few commercials. The public is catching on, too; in the past year, the number of adults watching streaming video has jumped from 49% to 60%.
Not all is beer and skittles, however; the picture frame on my computer is rather small, since each square inch of video takes up considerable band width, and therefore the feed doesn't work well for group watching.
Nonetheless, I think the future belongs to internet TV, due to its advantage in distribution, flexibility and low cost of entry. As soon as dependable ubiquitious wireless internet is available across the country, the air will be full of internet programming, freed from the shackles of the cable TV companies.
And much as I've enjoyed my warm, fuzzy relationship with the highly responsive and caring cable TV companies (this is sarcasm), I'm looking forward to watching The Sarah Conner Chronicles at my convenience.
Want to watch your shows online? Here's a partial list of sites that offer prime programming.
JoostJericho, Star Trek, Babylon 5
Hulu (NBC and Newscorp) House, Family Guy, The Simpsons
ABC Family7th Heaven, Gilmore Girls, Smallville
ABC Lost (all seasons), Dancing with the Stars, Ugly Betty
AOL and AOL in2TV Full episodes of hundreds of shows, including many long-gone
DisneyHannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place
Fancast Episodes from 'classic' television; MacGuyver, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Dragnet
Liketelevision Golden oldies: Ozzie and Harriet, The Andy Griffith Show, Beverly Hillbillies
Fox Full episodes of many Fox staples: Prison Break, American Dad, Cops
Turbonick: Nickeloden's channel, with episodes of SpongeBob and other children's favs
TBS A light offering of shows including Seinfeld, House of Payne, and The Bill Engvall Show
USA Full episodes of USA originals such as Monk and Psych
Cartoon Network The cable network's cartoon lineup minus Adult Swim: where is my Robot Chicken? (at Adult Swim; thanks, William D.)
The CW VideoAliens in America, Wet 'n Wild, and other quality fare
WB! Kids For lovers of classic animation
Thanks to Jeff Baker of Seabreezecomputers.com